Monday, September 29, 2014

Ups and Downs

Despite the recent challenges I've been chronicling here, life is overall pretty good. I like the fall season, so much more laid back and expectation-free than summer. The kids are infuriating a lot of the time, but there are glimpses of real sweetness speckled throughout the day where I am amazed by their personalities and their relationship together.

The other night bedtime took twice as long as usual because they wanted to race down the stairs, L on his belly super-fast, and B bumping along slowly on his bottom. Then they held hands and went "round and round" until L fell down (always L) and cried. Then got up and wanted to do it again. Then I told B he was getting a time out (for swinging L around so hard he hit his head on the bed frame), and they ran off and shut themselves in the time-out room together (all the while giggling and shrieking "TOGETHER!!!"). L told B he wanted to sleep with him in his bed and B's face lit up like nothing I've ever seen...only to become sobbing and crestfallen when L changed his mind and went into his own bed to sleep.

The other morning we were all late getting ready because when I mentioned that L's goal for the day was not to have any accidents (he'd been accident free for >6 months when suddenly  he's been having accidents of the gross variety every morning). B got into the idea of "goals" and we each had to list and write down, and review over and over our 7 goals for the day. There were 4 universal goals:
  • Keep underwear clean
  • Don't yell or hurt
  • Try hard and learn
  • Listen
B added the following: eat a proper dinner, behave during stories at night, and don't pee in bed at night. L just kept repeating "my goal is not to poop my pants". It was actually kind of sad.

My MIL was here for 2 weeks. That was stressful in many ways, but this time we planned ahead and took full advantage and got a night away on the full weekend she was here! We left Saturday after swimming/dance class and came back Sunday before dinner. It was SO NICE to not have any worries about the time and to have enough time to do fun things but also to simply walk around and talk. It was that talk that prodded me to a) call the doctor to get referrals for therapists for my anxiety and b) start working very tentatively on changing my work situation (its a 5 year plan right now, but even THINKING about the plan is such a huge relief, its re-energizing). 

Part of my visit to my doctor also involving a discussion on some long-standing health issues. She ordered some testing which has so far come back normal, and also suggested trying the FODMAPS diet which is a seemingly random list of things to avoid, including beans, wheat/barley/rye, and high-lactose dairy but also certain fruits & veggies.  Monday will be Day 1 of that. I've planned out my breakfast (fried egg + gluten-free waffle), lunch (salad with lettuce, red bell pepper, shredded carrots, olives, home-made balsamic vinaigrette, and toasted walnuts) and dinners (baked lemon caper fish with wild rice and kale; hard tacos with chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole and cheddar cheese; quinoa with stir-fried tofu and veggies). My plan is to do it strictly for 2 weeks and see how I feel, and then add back in things I don't think are issues for me (onions and garlic, wheat, apples) one at a time and see how it goes. I know that a large part of my gut issues are related to anxiety, but just these past few months I've been having issues even outside of high stress times, and I think certain foods my be to blame (a lot of summer fruits are on the FODMAPS no-no list, and I've been eating TONS of those).

L's birthday is coming up and I'm waiting for accurate weather reports before we plan the weekend, but it will be low-key as befits a budding 3 year old who still needs long naps and lots of snuggle time. We are planning (already booked car and hotel) a trip for Thanksgiving just to get out of town and NOT visit family.  We are also planning our holiday travel, after waiting too long last year and ending up paying too much for horrible flights not on the days we wanted.

One of my best friends just moved away. I'm thankful I got to attend all of the many going away events held in her honor. I will really really  miss her, we had lots of deep talks over lunch or wine and weekend brunch and shopping trips---we joked that we were pretty much the same person, we had so much in common. I am super excited for her and a bit wistful for that exciting time in life---all in one year she's had a wedding, got a great job (faculty position straight out of a pretty short post-doc!) and a move to a brand-new exciting location. Its brought back memories of when G and I moved up here, knowing no one, sleeping on the floor until our stuff came in and exploring the neighborhoods. It was really a fun time in our relationship. We realized that if we treated the changes in our life now with the same sense of adventure, I think it'd serve to bring us closer together rather than tear us apart.

That's whats been going on around here these days.


  1. Hey, Ana, seems like we're running parallel courses in certain ways. What does FODMAPS stand for?

    1. Fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols. Or something like that.

  2. I love watching my kids play together in those random, bizarre ways. I'm glad you are enjoying them too!

    My sister recently did an elimination diet that involved a lot of weird things. I've never heard of FODMAPS, but I'm wondering if it's the same one. She was eliminating high-acid foods (onions,garlic, tomatoes, citrus) but also chocolate and dairy. Not wheat, though, I don't think.

  3. I love that you are creating goals together as a family. I might borrow that idea from you.

    I know that lit up face that you are referring to. My little guy worships his big sister and when she directs any attention his way he just radiates happiness. Of course when she expresses displeasure at him he loses it completely. Oh, siblings.

    I hope the elimination diet helps. Keep us updated on your progress.